Read advance reader review of Leaving by Roxana Robinson

Summary | Reviews | More Information | More Books


A Novel

by Roxana Robinson

Leaving by Roxana Robinson X
Leaving by Roxana Robinson
Buy This Book

About this book


Page 1 of 1
There are currently 6 member reviews
for Leaving
Order Reviews by:
  • Shirley T. (Comfort, TX)
    Leaving by Roxanna Robinson
    LEAVING is a stunning love story which will appeal to very many readers.
    Roxanna Robinson has an amazing ability to draw the reader into the plot so that the characters are real and believable from the start. The author describes past times of the lovers and their family backgrounds very clearly.
    Involving two families at the beginning, the story expands as time goes on, deepening the tension in the love between the lovers.
    It is intriguing to follow the individual loyalties and betrayals, the selfishness of some and the rational decisions of others.
    The author keeps the sequence of events so real that it is impossible to guess the final outcome before the end of the book.
    This is a book to treasure and reread.
  • Laurie B. (Santa Monica, CA)
    An intimate, absorbing novel of competing loyalties
    Sarah and Warren were young lovers who split when Sarah objected to Warren's adventurous plans for their future. Decades later, a chance encounter at the opera brings them together. Sarah is long divorced, Warren is married to a woman he tolerates, but does not love. They quickly fall in love again, and begin to plan a future together.

    Superficially, this novel purports to be about the relationship between Sarah and Warren, but in reality it brilliantly illuminates the fierce, tangled, complicated relationships between people in late middle age and their adult children. It is on those relationships that the novel turns.

    Leaving is most impressive in uncannily illuminating a complete personality in just a few short scenes. Warren's daughter Katrina and Sarah's daughter Meg are fully realized characters despite their relatively brief appearances in the book.

    Sarah’s very young grandchildren are beautifully rendered in their individuality. Not just generic toddlers and pre-schoolers, but little people we get to know and care about. In fact, even Sarah's beloved dog, Bella, isn't just a generic dog, but a fully realized individual with an endearing and tender love for Sarah.

    This would be a great selection for a book club, a deep dive into questions of what we owe ourselves, our beloved family members, and the relationships we have created and cherish.
  • Connie, Oldsmar, Fl
    Ties Do Bind
    Is there only one way to honor a marriage? Do sacrifices have limits, and who gets to decide what they are? What is weakness, what is strength? Can you expect to be given respect from those you deeply hurt, from yourself for the choices you make to survive?

    The novel "Leaving" by Roxana Robinson weaves such ethical questions throughout. The characters' actions - flawed or noble - are sure to raise debates among book club members and more poignantly within yourself. Readers may find themselves aligning with one character and then urging others on in the next chapter with "why didn't you say this" or "you should have questioned her own ideas of love about that." So while I found it a frustrating read at times, the writing was seamless and kept moving the plot forward.

    I do recommend this book and will champion it as a book club title for our group. The ending and what alternative possibilities were anticipated will also make for interesting discussion.
  • Patricia L. (Seward, AK)
    Leaving by Roxana Robinson
    Sarah, divorced, with grown children, unexpectedly meets a former beau at the opera. "They had been close at one time." Sarah and Warren decide to "continue" their relationship, even though Warren is married. Eventually, Warren decides to leave his wife of thirty-seven years. Leaving is the story of that journey.
    A story about divorce must be about marriage and parenting. Robinson writes with uncanny understanding of those emotional roller coasters. She shows how youthful decisions can transform lives. How children can change a relationship. How children become independent of their parents, but also need them. How parents need their children. She even captures the essence of having a pet dog. Leaving touches on all that holds a family together and what happens when that grip is loosened.
    Leaving was a satisfying read and is highly recommended for those who want to be reminded that no family is perfect, that selfishness is short sighted, and life doesn't always go as planned.
  • Jill S. (Durham, NC)
    What do love, marriage, and parenthood demand?
    "Being I a marriage is like walking a tightrope. You can't lose confidence. You have to keep going. You can't look down."

    But what happens when you lose your footing and do look down? Can you survive or must you surrender to the emptiness?

    Warren, who has been married to his wife Janet for 37 years, has lost his footing. The two of them share mutual respect, but they have markedly different views of the world. Then he unexpectedly runs into Sarah, his college sweetheart, at the opera. She is now divorced from the man she left Warren for so many years ago. They rekindle what they once had. But of course, life is now far more complicated. Both have adult children, and Warren is married.

    That is the set-up for Leaving, and it is the launching pad for many questions that center around love, marriage, and parenthood. Is love – much like in operatic tragedies – a constant struggle between passion and honor? Are there ever moral grounds for leaving a marriage? What do we owe our children and others who love us? Is personal joy more important than being present and nurturing for those who carry our genetic code and will carry it into the future? Should adult children ever have the right to "own" their parents' lives or to emotionally blackmail them?

    This is a nuanced book, and in reading it, my own questions arose. According to scientists, we are naturally programmed to enjoy about two years of constant sexual highs before settling down to a calmer, more mature love that can still be punctuated by passion. I wondered: what is it about Sarah that attracted him so deeply? She left him for the flimsiest of reasons. And his need to exit his marriage seems built on relatively flimsy reasons as well. What makes them think now they are natural soulmates? At 60 years old, are Warren and Sarah racing the clock to capture the kind of transcendental love that has been denied to them?

    I struggled with my rating because the answers are not clear. But I gradually decided that maybe that's the point: there are no easy answers or instant understandings. This is the kind of novel that captured my attention and left me wanting to talk about it with others. I give it a 4.5 star rating and thank BookBrowse and W.W. Norton for the opportunity to read it early in exchange for an honest review.
  • Mary W. (Mesa, AZ)
    leaving by Roxana Robinson
    The advance praise for "leaving" is glowing. I just wish the book had lived up to those reviews. The prose is good, the plot plausible. However, the book is too wordy. It's like going to a movie and half-way through the film you say to yourself "Just get it over with." Repetition of similar scenes and repeated avowals of motive stifle the story. The author tries to force the reader to accept her interpretation of character and motive. Let the reader decide. We are adults.
  • Page
  • 1


Join BookBrowse

for a year of great reading
about exceptional books!

Find out more

Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: The Prince and the Coyote
    The Prince and the Coyote
    by David Bowles
    At fifteen, Crown Prince Acolmiztli is preparing to enter the calmecac, the temple school that will ...
  • Book Jacket: North Woods
    North Woods
    by Daniel Mason
    "History haunts him who does not honor it." This incidental line from Daniel Mason's North Woods ...
  • Book Jacket
    One Puzzling Afternoon
    by Emily Critchley
    While British author Emily Critchley's graceful novel One Puzzling Afternoon is about cognitive ...
  • Book Jacket: A Haunting in Hialeah Gardens
    A Haunting in Hialeah Gardens
    by Raul Palma
    Raul Palma's debut novel A Haunting in Hialeah Gardens introduces Hugo Contreras, who came to the ...

BookBrowse Book Club

Book Jacket
Lucy by the Sea
by Elizabeth Strout
A poignant, pitch-perfect novel from Pulitzer Prize–winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Strout.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Alfie and Me
    by Carl Safina

    A moving account of raising, then freeing, an orphaned screech owl. Three starred reviews!

  • Book Jacket

    Above the Salt
    by Katherine Vaz

    A sweeping love story that follows two Portugueses refugees who flee religious violence to build new lives in Civil-War America.

Who Said...

It was one of the worst speeches I ever heard ... when a simple apology was all that was required.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!


Solve this clue:

One N U G

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.